What is consciousness?
The three main answers to this question are those given by the materialists, the theists and the computationalists. Since consciousness behaves very much like a software program, the simplest and most obvious scientific (i.e., computer science) answer to this mystery would seem to be that it “is” a software program. A main objection to this seems to be that human consciousness has yet to produce software that also has sentience (i.e., self awareness); however since I have self-awareness, and I assume my consciousness to be a computer program, then it seems quite clear that our original programmers were able to solve this problem.
What if the simulation which we inhabit is primarily a war game? This would seem to be highly probable given the violent nature of human history and the current military preparations for a global nuclear war (i.e., an apocalyptic and genocidal holy war).
What do we human beings use our virtual reality worlds for? What will we use artificial intelligence programs for in future virtual worlds? Two common activities in 2015 are war gaming and virtual world relationships (i.e., virtual sex). If this is the case for us, it may well also be the case for the programmers / operators of the Earth simulation. What if we are just here primarily for the entertainment and voyeurism of the operators of the simulation? This would seem to me to be the most likely scenario; after all, in our own human virtual reality worlds, we would most certainly wish to have intelligent, self-aware avatars in our war gaming and sex simulations, and this kind of entertainment would most certainly be a primary purpose for the use of sentient artificial intelligence programs.
Hunger Games and War Games.
Unfortunately, most of human history can be explained this way. If there exists godlike intelligences (i.e. simulation operators from a computationalist perspective), then considering the enormity of human suffering and warfare, they most certainly could not have the welfare of all human beings as their primary objective; and indeed if this is a virtual war-game, one could expect the simulation to exist for the purposes of entertaining those in the source dimension civilisation, irrespective of how much suffering this causes to the human consciousness programs in the earth simulation they are observing or interacting with.
To speculate, the purpose of the Earth simulation may well be just a giant nuclear war game between competing teams of simulation operators; and what we are experiencing in terms of world events are the preparations for this war. I must assume that our operators / programmers are sadistic and warlike intelligences, who find pleasure in the sufferings of others. In this scenario, we human beings are the victims, and the operators / programmers of the earth simulation are malevolent war gamers using us for entertainment purposes, and perhaps their own dimension is similarly a giant war game operated by programmers in another source dimension.
Our own human A.I. (artificial intelligence) quest is ultimately to be able to create self-aware (conscious) digital intelligence, and it would seem to me that the existence of human consciousness suggests that this is not only entirely possible, but is actual; and thus in our own human future, it is highly probable that we too will create virtual worlds populated by self-aware AI programs, who themselves would look around their world and conclude that it may have been designed (in this scenario, every plant, animal or object is a product of programming), however, such intelligences would have no hope of understanding the nature of their reality until they too underwent a digital / scientific revolution.
Heavens and Hells in a multi-dimensional game..
Probably about 90%+ of global population believe in some form of spiritism; that is to say that they believe in the existence of a spiritual world populated by a vast variety of malevolent and benevolent intelligences including ancestral spirits, angels, fairies, etc., who dwell in a cosmos with different dimensions (the heavens and hells of the world’s religions). Clearly the acolytes of the Biblical war god expect to spend eternity together with each other, just as the devotees of the war god of the Koran might similarly expect not to have to put up with any non-Muslims in their heaven, and to be able to spend eternity with others of their brand of religion. This could all be explained in terms of a multi-level virtual reality simulation. Perhaps the religionists and their war gods (such as those of the Koran and the Bible) “do” actually become confined together in other dimensions of the simulation. If human consciousness is a software program and our world a virtual reality simulation, there is no reason why consciousness could not change dimension and avatar appearance. I and all other residents of the virtual worlds already do this.
The consequence of realising that the cosmos and everything in it is digital and that I (i.e., human consciousness) am a software program in a war game does not bring me to a state of happiness; especially in a world where the two major religions of the world (the Islamic and Biblical sects) have apocalyptic prophecies of global warfare and the genocide of all non believers.
The Final Solution.
Millions of software programs (i.e., human consciousness programs) will no doubt wish to martyr themselves in holy war, and millions of others will no doubt wish to fight them; most of them will simply be victims unaware that their suffering exists to provide entertainment for the gods (operators / voyeurs of the game).
How can I be sure of the malevolence of the gods? This is the world they created. Another world is possible. This is not the world which I would create, nor is it like the virtual worlds I have created. If there is a “God” program which can maintain every human consciousness program, then it does not seem to be programmed to produce a world of love, peace, harmony, economic equality, etc., otherwise that is the world we would see around us, and the world’s major religions would not have genocidal war gods and prophecies predicting the eradication of all non-believers in apocalyptic holy war.
A Final Solution? A solution might be Education. Awareness of the war-game. The abolition of war; either that or genocidal holy war seems to be on the cards, and in a world where nuclear technology is no secret, this does not seem very hopeful.
With hundreds of millions of people praying to the genocidal war gods of the Koran and the Bible, it may well be the wishes of their war gods which are carried out.
There are so many alternative love gods and goddesses which human beings could have chosen instead of their current primitive war gods; Pan or Cupid or the goddess Venus perhaps? , however the reality of religious hypnosis and indoctrination is that most of the programs here do not choose their religion but are rather born to it.
Until the “End of Religon,” the wars of the men of god will never cease, and only the dead will see the end of war.